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Benefits of 
an online divorce

Benefits of an online divorce

Why Choose Divorce.com?

Divorce.com is a reliable online service helping couples to prepare the necessary paperwork for their uncontested divorce. The process itself is quick and straightforward, allowing the spouses to draft the paperwork from the comfort of their homes.

One of the obvious advantages of using Divorce.com is its affordability. You only pay one time and get high quality legal paperwork in just two business days. You don’t have to hire expensive lawyers and can save tons of money and time.

Obtaining the forms includes the following steps:

  • Answer the questions from our online questionnaire at any convenient time.
  • Review your answers and correct mistakes.
  • Submit the answers and wait for two business days.
  • Download your packet of papers, prepared in a PDF format, and print all the files.

Prepare for divorce fast and hassle-free with Divorce.com!

Iowa divorce forms

Iowa Divorce Forms

Gathering the correct Iowa divorce forms is the first step to filing for divorce. Some documents are available at the state’s official online resources or self-help centers. Note that the documentation is different for couples with and without children.

The basic divorce forms to start a divorce with no minor children in Iowa are:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with no Minor or Dependent Adult Children (Form 101)
  • Petition Cover Sheet (Form 102)
  • Confidential Information (Form 103)
  • Original Notice for Personal Service (Form 104)
  • Acceptance of Service (Form 105)
  • Directions for Service of Original Notice (Form 106)
  • Motion and Affidavit to Serve by Publication (For 107)
  • Original Notice by Publication (Form 108)
  • Application and Affidavit to Defer Payment of Costs (Form 109)
  • Affidavit of Service of Original Notice and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Form 110)
  • Protected Information Disclosure (Form 111)
  • Financial Affidavit (Form 124)

If a couple has minor or dependent adult children, their divorce forms will differ. For example, the spouses will have to file another Petition (Form 201) and add the following papers:

  • Affidavit for Temporary Custody and Visitation - Form 221
  • Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Children - Form 228
  • Agreed Parenting Plan - Form 229
Divorce forms preparation

Divorce forms preparation

How to Fill Out Divorce Forms in Iowa

Filling out the blank divorce forms may pose a challenge for those who’ve never dealt with legal paperwork. Below is a short list of tips on how to complete the papers.

  • Read the questions in the forms and determine what information you need to collect to answer them.
  • Look up all the unknown legal terminology using dictionaries and Iowa Code.
  • Collect important information and documents to fill out the divorce forms, e.g., marriage license, ID, date of separation, each spouse’s address, etc.
  • Negotiate divorce terms with your wife or husband before completing the papers.
  • Look through your answers and correct typos or errors.
  • Notarize the forms if necessary, meaning you must sign them before a notary public.

Completing the paperwork from scratch can take many hours and cause stress. So, if you’re uncertain that you can do it by yourself, Divorce.com is at your service. We’ll help you draft the paperwork quickly and hassle-free.

Divorce.com has an extensive database with all the forms you’ll need for your specific circumstances. Plus, our documents comply with Iowa state standards and are constantly updated. Therefore, you can be sure to get the best quality possible.

In addition to the complete packet of divorce papers, you’ll receive step-by-step instructions to file your case with the local court.

Filing for
Divorce in
Iowa

Steps to Consider

Residency Requirements

Not every couple can get divorced in Iowa. Only those spouses who meet the state residency requirements can end their marriage in this state and obtain a divorce decree.

The primary condition for the courts to have jurisdiction over the case is that one of the spouses must be a state resident or have lived there for one year or longer and have no intention to leave Iowa.

The filing spouse should file the Petition and other papers with the court in a county where the respondent resides, unless they are non-residents.

Grounds for Divorce

Filing for divorce must always have grounds which are the legal reasons to end a marriage. Since Iowa is a no-fault state, neither of the spouses needs to prove the other party’s guilt.

The petitioner (or the respondent) must show to the judge that the marriage is:

  • irretrievably broken
  • there is no chance for reconciliation

Yet, the party’s behavior that caused the divorce, e.g., adultery, can be considered during property division or alimony.

Initial Filing

A person starting a divorce has to collect the initial divorce papers and file them electronically or with the district clerk’s office, if allowed. The documents must include a Petition for Dissolution, Confidential Information Form, and several others, depending on the circumstances.

If the petitioner files in person, they must file the original papers and two copies - one for notifying the other spouse and the other for personal records.

If the papers are in order, the district clerk will stamp the date and case number on the documents.

Filing Fees

Regardless of how the papers are filed (electronically or online), the petitioner must pay a $265 filing fee. Different counties can have varying court costs, so it’s better to find the exact price by phoning the local court.

If a person’s financial situation doesn’t allow them to pay the fees, they may ask the court to waive or defer the payment. To do this formally, the petitioner must file an Application and Affidavit to Defer Payment of Costs.

Serving the Respondent

A petitioner has to notify the other spouse about divorce by sending the respondent a copy of the Petition and the Original Notice.

There are several ways to perform the service. The first is to deliver the papers in person. In this case, the respondent signs the Acceptance of Service and afterwards files this with the court.

Other ways include service by publication, hiring a sheriff, or asking a third party not involved in the divorce case.

Waiting Period

Iowa law requires that spouses wishing to get divorced must wait 90 days from the date the respondent is formally notified about the proceedings. The starting point may also be the service publication date if the respondent is nowhere to be found.

The 90-day waiting period is used for settling the issues or negotiating and trying to resolve the disputes outside the court. The spouses must also finish the parenting class if they have minor children.

Finalizing a Divorce Case

The final step is to attend a court hearing where the judge issues a final judgment. Even if the spouses decide to divorce amicably, they must go to court. The judge will review their settlement agreement and determine if it’s just.

If the petitioner files the case online, they can download a copy of the final decree. Otherwise, the court clerk will give it in person or send it by mail.

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Uncontested divorce 
in Iowa

Uncontested Divorce in Iowa

If both parties agree on how to deal with divorce-related issues, they have an uncontested divorce. Essentially, they must discuss a few things before going to the courthouse. They include property division, alimony, child custody, support, etc.

After the spouses resolve their diovrce-related disputes, they can proceed with the settlement agreement and file their case with the court. It also means that the married couple must ask the court, in writing, to terminate their marriage.

An amicable divorce implies that couples should jointly work on the Petition for dissolution and fill it out with the terms concerning:

  • division of debts, assets, real estate, vehicles, etc.
  • child custody and visitation schedule
  • alimony and insurance

Divorce.com can simplify this complicated process and handle your divorce papers for you. If your separation is amicable, just delegate the paperwork to us, instead of hiring a divorce lawyer. Save tons of money and nerves by choosing our online paperwork service.

Child custody

Getting a Divorce with Children in Iowa

Child custody

Couples with minor children will only get divorced when all the child-related issues are settled. They can agree on the issues beforehand and place the negotiated provisions into their parenting plan. Additionally, the parents may hire a divorce mediator to help them reach an understanding.

Iowa state laws provide the following types of custody:

  • Sole physical custody (minor children live permanently with a primary custodial parent).
  • Joint physical custody (children live with each parent, according to the agreed schedule).
  • Sole legal custody (only one parent can decide how to raise the children).
  • Joint legal custody (both parents make mutual decisions about their children’s well-being).

If the parents cannot agree on the type of child custody, the family law judge will decide for them. The main factor affecting the decision is the child’s safety and their best interests. Other factors are:

  • each parent’s fitness to be a custodial parent
  • each parent’s willingness to communicate with another parent about the child
  • child’s wishes and previous relationship with the parents
  • the proximity of the parents’ houses
  • the history of domestic violence, etc.

Both parents must also attend a parenting class, following court orders. They should start the sessions within 45 days of the service of process on the respondent.

Child Support

Child Support

Each parent is responsible for supporting their minor children financially after divorce. Iowa courts order child support in the amount calculated, according to the state child support guidelines. The judge may also set aside a portion of the marital property for support.

The tables in the guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model, taking the parents’ adjusted income and the number of children into account to determine the appropriate child support amount.

The court will also consider the financial obligations to other children from previous marriages. The support will terminate when each child comes of age, joins the armed forces, becomes self-supporting, etc.

Divorce Without a Lawyer in Iowa

Divorce Without
a Lawyer
in Iowa

A divorce without a lawyer is a popular choice for couples with amicable divorces, mainly because they seek to decrease divorce expenses. For example, Iowa lawyers charge $275 an hour for their services, earning $5,000-$10,000 in total.

On the other hand, if the spouses take the case into their hands and have a DIY divorce, they won’t have to cover the attorney’s enormous fees. However, they will likely pay the filing fees, unless the judge signs a fee waiver order.

Yet, preparing for divorce without help is tedious and complicated. For example, specific circumstances may require different packages of forms, some of which are hard to come by. In addition, it’s not always apparent to the spouses how to fill out the blank forms.

Fortunately, there is an easier way. Those who don’t have time and desire to spend hours on divorce paperwork can use Divorce.com. This online paperwork preparation service will generate all court forms in just two days. Additionally, each client will receive step-by-step instructions to guide them through the filing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get divorced in Iowa?

Iowa divorce takes three months if it’s uncontested. However, if the couple has many unresolved disputes, their divorce proceedings will likely last for 6-12 months on average.

Can I get a free divorce in Iowa?

You can request a fee waiver if you can’t afford to pay the court fees. You must file an Application and Affidavit to Defer Payment of Costs and wait for the judge’s decision.

How do I file for divorce in Iowa?

The filing process starts with preparing the initial papers, including a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Confidential Information Form, and a few others. After that, a petitioner must take them to court and give them to the clerk.

How much does a divorce cost in Iowa?

The price tag for a divorce in Iowa starts from $1,500 for an uncontested divorce without children and goes to $10,000-$20,000 for a contested case. So if you want to save thousands of dollars, prepare for divorce with Divorce.com.